Daily Prompt: Relish

via Daily PromThe pickledpt: Relish

My general understanding of the word “relish” lies in the college prep. education I received sometime in the previous millenium. To relish something indicates that your appetites and preferences thoroughly enjoy whatever it is you are doing or consuming. Example: I relish a meal of prime rib with horseradish sauce. Or, you can use it as a describing word for a jar of chopped pickles to season a hot dog or hamburger (popular in American fast-food as a favored topping.)

There are other appropriate appetites that can apply ‘relish’, for example, I RELISH a really good fiction story – one with lots of history, metaphysical aspects, and genuine human responses to the aspects of the situations that characters encounter over the course of the story. History is obviously my favorite genre. Let me list a few of really GREAT authors that have inspired me:

  • Jude Devereaux
  • Jane Kirkpatrick
  • Morgan Llewellyn
  • Willa Cather
  • Daphne DuMaurier
  • Peter Tremayne

Check them out when you get a chance!  Right now, though, I would relish a nice hamburger; after all, it is my dinner hour.


Thanks for stopping by!  Always, Susan





Sojourning continues

My profound gratitude to the Happiness Engineers Team at WordPress for their assistance as I struggled to revamp my own domain!  It’s such a relief to have this support. As I have often reflected in previous posts, learning is an ONGOING PROCESS. 

When I graduated high school (sometime between the administration of George Washington and Barack Obama) most of us fledgling adults had the notion that you had all you need to face the challenges of life with high school diploma in hand. Oh, if that had only been true.  The fact is that as we move from job to job, school to school and place to place, we always come away with knowledge that we didn’t possess before. From the simple to the profound, you’re continually building your skill base. The blessings for me lie in the fact that I can safely say that I have successfully transitioned from the Industrial Age to the Information Age. How to keep from constant anxiety??  Learn, retain what is useful and discard the excess!

Lots of projects are underway for me this year. I am compiling an anthology of personal stories about what it was like to grow up in post World War II suburbia. It’s amazing as images of making snow angels in the first snow of the Christmas season with my siblings, to the ‘fun’ of elementary school memories come back as fully as if it had just happened!!

The sequel to Life Song: An Irish Odyssey progresses, albeit slowly.

Hope that your holidays were wonderful and satisfying as we progress through this new year.  Thanks for stopping by.  Always, Susan


There’s always something new..


In discovering historical evidence of current and previous civilizations and cultures, the diligent researcher realizes that one conclusion is truly inescapable: historical assumptions are constantly changing!!

As I delve into the history of medicine, time after time I must revisit previous information and match that with the alterations provided by present historians. When I was a child in elementary school, the then curricula was brief and flattering/scathing to  historical figures. Thus the student had to conclude that every major player in the world was one of two things:  hero or villain.

There was a play called ‘Porgy and Bess’. In it was a song that echoes my current take on history – “It ain’t necessarily SO!” Some historical educators have been taken aback when I contend that History IS under constant revision.

Case in point: medicine and surgery have been performed for over four millenia. Pharmaceuticals in current use today are reformulations the minerals and plants and animal by-products that have existed since earth’s creation. Which is ok, too. Too much or too little of something can indeed be dangerous or ineffective without specific knowledge of proper proportions. Surgical techniques have had to take into account the individual patient’s ability to withstand the physical rigors involved. Conclusion – you can’t be too careful.

There IS always something MORE to be learned. Nothing is a permanent FACT but that it will be subject to revision as new information comes to light. To me, that’s thrilling. Life-long learning is humanity’s living legacy. So, let’s hear it for archeologists, geologists and historians the world over! Thank you for all you do!!!  Author photo Sue 0815  Thanks for stopping by, Susan

P.S. ‘There’s always something new..’ IS the title of this piece. Hope it doesn’t confuse!

She’s Alive!!!

Bet you thought that I gave up on the blogging thing! Nope, just that I’ve been dealing with health issues, which have nearly resolved -Thank Heaven!!! Just learned that I have some ‘royalties’ coming from my ebook version of Life Song. (Hope that it will prove more impressive than the check I just got from Medicare for .08. Hey, General Services Administration: can’t you just carry ridiculous amounts as a credit??  Just my opinion, it costs us more to fool around like that.)

All of the above notwithstanding, my brain has begun to function again. So, I’m working on the sequel to my book. I got to look up lots of interesting things. For instance, medical training has been available in Ireland since about the time of Christ, concurrent with the developments in healing in Egypt, Judea, Greece. Aside from that, all of these medical traditions were saved for the world by the Arab scholars. The monks in European monasteries copied these works and they made their way to Ireland where those same medical traditions were recast into the then-known world. Love this stuff!!!

Then, too, I have reviewed all of my posts to date and wanted you to know that I am not a modern day ‘banshee’ bewailing the hard aspects of life. I have a weird sense of humor but really do love people and life in general. Thought that I would share an excerpt from one of my short stories so you could see what I mean.

Harry’s Avian Café

I:  The Ducks      They lined up this morning, milling around in guarded expectation.  There were several species of duck present:  Muscovies with white heads, yellow beaks and red mottling that looked like modeling clay tacked into place by a playful Creator.  Mallards displayed lovely earth tones with patches of soft yellow peeking out on lower spots on their wings.  The “tall guys” had mostly shiny black plumage with lovely iridescent green on their wing tips and more of the same shiny green in bands around their necks. As a Caregiver, I come in to get Harry his meals; do light housekeeping and other care as needed.  Among other things, I also assist Harry, our client, with feeding his local birds. Harry is a very special, loving person.  He loves his family and he cares for his avian friends.  Every week, if there isn’t enough bird seed in the bin that he stores on the enclosed patio, that item appeared on his weekly shopping list.038

We live in Southwest Florida, in Fort Myers.  Harry’s home lies in a community where each cluster of homes has a little pond with an aerator at its center.  This aerator also serves the ducks as a diving platform.  It is really fun to watch them in action as two or three at a time land and get set to dive back into the water.  Observing the various species as they come to patronize Harry’s Avian Café, it is apparent how generally well-fed these feathered neighbors are.  Did you ever notice how nomad animals that neighborhoods share are often Anything but scrawny??

I am more familiar with the habits of cats.  It’s been my experience to “adopt” a stray, only to have it disappear for days at a time and show up again.  One thing about nomad cats I’ve known:  they never seem the worse for wear for having been out of my care for varying periods.  Apparently, the same holds true for Floridian ducks.  Harry’s “buddies” would make Daniel Boone’s mouth water at the prospect of bagging any one of them.  However, in 21st century America, ecologists frown on human hunting, so poor ole’ Dan’l would probably face a citation and/or fine for his normal pursuits from the local authorities.

This morning, Harry’s Avian Café opened to a brisk trade.  Several of the black and green variety and a couple of Muscovies lined up expectantly by the lanai (Florida’s name for a screened porch) door.  They backed off a foot or so as I went out to get their orders from the seed bin.  As I spread the seed on the ground for them, they moved into a semi-circular lineup, flipping their tail feathers in a happy, if guarded fashion.  “Ok, here you go.  Enjoy!” I called to them as I retreated back into the house to look after their benefactor.  All in all, we had a brisk trade that morning.  I counted nineteen customers and informed Harry.  He just smiled and said “Very good” as he enjoyed his own breakfast.

II:  The Squirrels                                                          

Harry loves the little creatures of this Earth.  Watching them and moving among them fills him with peace and contentment.  He can tell you what species are for the most part.  If you ask him about nearly anything, chances are he has a good store of knowledge to draw from and can provide you with a pretty good answer.  As any good restaurateur, Harry reserves the right to refuse service to anyone.  The neighborhood squirrels he perceives as unwelcome diners.  He is not the only person who sees them that way.


One afternoon earlier in the summer of 2013, I discovered that Harry had been diligently studying this problem.  He directed me into the garage and indicated a small saw and bid me follow him out to the backyard.  The object of the quest was a long branch of the slender tree opposite the bird feeder.  I studied the base of the branch, made an appropriate notch on the base and with several strokes of the blade, severed it cleanly.  Then, Harry instructed me in cutting it into thirds for the yard waste pickup.  Hopefully, the intent was to deprive the pesky rodents from launching themselves onto the bird feeder.  They would have to content themselves with the ducks’ leftovers (if any). These furry café patrons had other ideas, however. No matter what we did to foil their incursions, the squirrels continued to demand and obtain a portion of Harry’s choice cuisine.  After a time the shield installed on the bird feeder was gradually pounded down from the base of the bird feeder to the ground.They could be seen munching contentedly away alongside the ducks, pigeons, Ibis’ and Egrets.

III. “Oh, yeah?!” 

The next phase of ‘Operation Invasion Dissuasion’ involved an invitation to move the squirrels to another location.  Traps were set out to catch the unwanted diners for later release.  At least three of them were evicted from Harry’s Avian Café by this method.  When rain threatened, Harry had us move the cages beneath the eaves of the house to protect them until the ‘movers’ could collect them and introduce them to their new habitat.  This scheme worked only for a brief period.  I came to doubt its success when as many or more of the squirrels continued to reappear to enjoy the Café’s bill of fare. My question is this:  do squirrels have the same homing instinct as Lassie??  In any event, Harry decided not to pursue further eviction proceedings.  If squirrels could wink, I believe these characters are doing so.

Live and let live.

Harry’s Avian Café continues to enjoy its well-earned reputation as the place to be in Parker Lakes.  The birds don’t mind.  They don’t run off the diverse patrons as they dine side by side.  Harry’s blue eyes look on as his guests enjoy his hospitality.  God bless!!

Thanks for stopping by!! Hope to make a few improvements to this blog very soon. Blessings!! Sue, the History Girl

Author photo Sue 0815



Overcoming Ineptitude

There are times in all of our lives when we just don’t have the expert touch. This is true for me, more times than I care to recall. Ineptitude, by definition, is the lack of ability to competently perform a particular task. For example, I cannot repair or install a carburetor in a car. But I can drive any vehicle and check fluids and add the right amount. Every person has a number of skill sets developed over their lifetimes. I’ve often stated that I am a life-long learner. What’s the key to overcoming an ineptitude?  Right! Find out what you don’t know, get the information and apply it.

Nobody graduates from diapers and is ready to run a marathon in their infancy. Well, I am an infant in the computer world. So I look for pertinent information on a program or application and start taking notes. Notes? Oh yes, by all means. After all, sometimes you have to review a process to get it ‘down pat’.

The neat thing is that you don’t have to stay ignorant about something you really want to learn and add to your skills. That is why I like to stand on the shoulders of giants: those who have shown the way in any particular field of endeavor. To these giants (the lovely people who write How To instructions), I say “you have my undying gratitude.” Resources, I just love resources, those step-by-step instructions that help us learn what we need to know. Thank you!

Author photo Sue 0815Old style typewriterlaptop pic

Resolved:To Learn What I Can in the ‘E-World”

Many thanks to those of you who viewed my last post. Not too long ago, I ruminated on the proposition of becoming proficient in at least basics in WP. Oh, boy [sigh!]

If one thing occurs to me, it is this: the human brain is still a far superior storage unit for absorbing new information, archiving and categorizing things all of the time. In fact, when trying to call up something in answer to another person’s question, I’ve taken to replying, ‘give me a minute, I’m archiving.’ Heck, I don’t even have to worry about my brain/computer “crashing” and needing to be reprogrammed (unless I am fool enough to get into an accident, or fall victim to something in my genetic code that short-circuits.

I like to continue to view our technology as wonderful, useful tools. They are getting more impressive all the time. That said, I have a number of tutorials to tackle. This I will do. As imperative as learning this program and it’s aspects continues to be, I still have to remind myself that the best way to learn anything is one item at a time! Then practice, practice and practice some more. Many thanks as well to the WordPress community who offer so much valuable information as I continue this journey.  Thanks for stopping by, Sue